Children's Author Calvin A. Ramsey Surprises MLK Staff

His books are Black History Month favorites

Calvin A. RamseyAn award-winning children’s author, Calvin A. Ramsey, surprised staff in the Children’s Room at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library when he stopped in on Jan. 27.
 
His books Belle, The Last Mule at Gee's Bend: A Civil Rights Story and Ruth and the Green Book are Black History Month favorites. 
 
Based on a true account that occurred in 1968, Belle, the Last Mule at Gee's Bend is about a determined Southern community of ordinary folks and the mules that pulled the casket of slain civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through Atlanta during his funeral procession.

Ramsey told our staff that hearing a first-hand account from Rev. James E. Orange, who walked directly behind Dr. King's casket in the funeral procession, inspired him to write Belle. 

Another book by Ramsey, Ruth and the Green Book tells the story of a young girl and her family who journey by car from Chicago to Alabama in the 1950's. The Negro Motorist Green Book, a tool that helped African Americans find safe accommodations in the segregated South, aids Ruth's family on their trip.
 
As part of recent program, children were introduced to the history of segregation through the story of Ruth and the Green Book. Last week, the Smithsonian Institution and DC Public Library presented "Mission: Preservation," which showed kids how preserve family oral histories and objects by using primary resources.